So, you are on Spring Break in Panama City Beach with your buddies, and are thinking about getting some marijuana for the party. After all, you have been watching the news and heard about various states legalizing it throughout the United States, and your buddy has access to the best reefer since Dr. Dre debuted the cover of album, “The Chronic.” Is marijuana legal in Florida?

NO!! Marijuana is illegal in Florida, in any amount, as even less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor criminal offense, punishable up to one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. Even a conviction for a misdemeanor amount of marijuana in Florida can result in the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles suspending your driver’s license administratively. And yes, alternatives such as synthetic marijuana and “bath salts” are also illegal in Florida.

If you have more than 20 grams of marijuana in Florida, it becomes a 3rd degree felony, punishable up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. And if you have more than 25 pounds, or 300 or more marijuana plants, it is considered Trafficking in Marijuana, punishable up to 30 years in prison with a minimum mandatory day for day prison term and fine. Trafficking in Marijuana has nothing to do with an actual sale of marijuana, as it is based solely upon the amount of marijuana in your possession.

For example, if you have more than 25 pounds of marijuana but less than 2,000 pounds, or more than 300 marijuana plants but less than 2,000 marijuana plants, there is a minimum mandatory day for day prison sentence of three years (up to 30 years in prison), and a minimum mandatory fine of $25,000. The more you possess, the higher the minimum mandatory prison sentence and mandatory fines will climb.

And, if you are caught selling marijuana, in any amount, it is a 3rd Degree Felony, punishable up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This is true whether you sell less than 20 grams, or a much larger quantity, though if it is too large of a quantity then law enforcement officers will likely charge you with Trafficking in Marijuana as well.

Call the Law Office of Albert J. Sauline, III immediately for a free consultation if you or someone you know has been charged with a marijuana crime, or any drug related offense, as your future is too important to jeopardize with one Spring Break mishap. Do not accept any plea offer without first talking with Defense Counsel, as the Assistant State Attorneys represent the State, while Attorney Sauline represents you.

The Law Office of Albert J. Sauline, III fights for your rights, protecting your future and holding the State to its burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Do not rush into a Spring Break Court resolution, as the State will offer such during your visit with certain misdemeanor offenses. Enjoy your vacation instead of picking-up trash on the beach, and exercise your Constitutional rights to due process, as there may be a grounds to have the case dismissed, or at least explore your defenses and, if necessary, do your community service hours back at home instead during your precious time on your once in a lifetime Spring Break experience.